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Kemba Walker
Gary Dineen

1/16 Arbella Quote Worthy: Celtics vs. Bucks

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 128-123 defeat to Milwaukee.

Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.

BRAD STEVENS

RE: On the team’s comeback in the second half…

“That was more Celtics basketball than we’ve seen in a while. It was good. I was encouraged, but obviously you can’t give up 76 in the first [half].”

RE: On the Bucks hot start and the transition defense tonight…)

“The transition layups are the ones, just like last night. Sometimes you go through games where the other team makes every shot. I mean 12 out of 15 from three, they pulled up and hit some of those with guys in their face in transition. Guys that aren’t high-volume shooters were doing that. Some of that is hats off to them, but I think we would have 60 [points] on a normal night in that half. We have to improve off of that and be better than that. It’s two nights in-a-row that we weren’t as good as we’d like to be in transition, but we took really good shots against the two teams we played against. Again, I am really encouraged by the second half, especially coming off of the stretch that we have come off of. That was back to where we want to be.”

RE: On Kemba Walker wanting to energize his team and his performance tonight…

“It’s not his job to be responsible for everybody else’s energy. I’m glad that he accepts that. I’m glad that he wants that. He certainly brought it tonight. He was awfully special.”
GORDON HAYWARD

RE: On the team struggling offensively to start the game…

“I thought we had some good looks, especially personally I had some good looks. But, we just didn’t make them. We’ll have to be better next time.”

RE: On their improved play in the second half…

“We obviously got some more stops in the second half, that was the biggest thing. We weren’t playing as much against their set defense. That helped us for sure. They’re a good basketball team, especially when they load up. They do a good job of helping and forcing you into tough shots.”

RE: On their transition defense…

“We can score more. Then they can’t get into transition. Giannis [Antetokounmpo] is maybe one of the best transition players of all-time. He’s so big and takes those long steps. You have to make sure you’re taking good shots offensively and not turning the ball over.”
KEMBA WALKER

RE: On what changed for him after the first quarter…

“The ball just went in, I guess. We were down big, and I just wanted to be aggressive and create my shot. I was able to get a little something going.”

RE: On bringing energy for the team…

“Not enough, at least from the start. As the game went along, we were a little better. But, games like this happen. We just have to be ready.”

RE: On the Bucks scoring in transition…

“Transition is definitely one of their strengths. Whenever we didn’t make a shot they just pushed the basketball.”
MIKE BUDENHOLZER

RE: On the win tonight…

“There were some good stretches for us. Obviously a good first half, but I think we’d like to be better for 48 minutes. I think that’s what we need to be.”

RE: On letting the Celtics back into the game…

“I think the way they ended the third quarter was pretty big. They cut it to eight or nine, and it felt like a big stretch of the third quarter eight, nine, 10, 11, something like that. Then to finish the quarter up by 19 was important because we needed all of that in the fourth quarter.”

RE: On the Celtics being able to close the gap in the past two matchups…

“I think it’s a lot of things. Obviously tonight [Kemba] Walker had a great game. They have a lot of talented players. It starts with a really good team, well coached. To keep them in-check for 48 minutes, it’s a challenge. That’s what we got to do. That’s what we got to be. Kemba had a big night, Marcus Smart hit a lot of threes. It felt like those two guys did a lot of damage, and I felt like the offensive boards were a significant factor in the second half. It seemed like every time they got the ball it was a lay-up or a three, and we got to get more of those.”
KYLE KORVER

RE: On how the Bucks maintained their lead in the second half…

“I think that we’re fortunate that we had a big lead. I think that the same thing happened in Boston earlier this season. We had a great first half and the second half, you know, I don’t know if I can put my finger on exactly what it was, but we didn’t play with the same force, the same urgency. I’ve played against the Celtics so many times now, the game is never over against them. There are so many games where you have a lead and they come back. There are some good things and probably some hard things to learn from tonight, so we’ll go back and watch the tape, and just keep on trying to get better.”

RE: On the group that went on a 15-3 run in the third quarter…

“I think that we were passing, we were cutting, there was a lot of movement: ball movement, player movement. I think that our pace was good, we got some stops, which usually happens when you make a run, usually you’re out there getting stops and getting some easier baskets, we hit a couple shots. But, overall this has happened a couple times over the season. It’s a good group, we have a good feel for each other, and we need it in games like this. We can’t, I mean, [Giannis Antetokounmpo] is amazing, he’s MVP, going to get MVP again in my opinion, but we can’t just rely on him. We all have to be doing our part out there.”

RE: On if Khris Middleton has underrated point guard skills…

“I would say yes. I think that Giannis’s greatness can overshadow a lot of things sometimes, and that’s fine, we’re all totally fine with that, but Khris is a great basketball player. He doesn’t have a weakness to his game. I’ve been surprised, being on his team now, in seeing how good of a passer he is and seeing how well he reads the game. He can do a lot with the ball in his hand, and I think that it’s good when Giannis is out of the game that we try to go to him a lot and try to have him facilitate. He’s been doing that all year.”
KHRIS MIDDLETON

RE: (On if he thinks Giannis Antetokounmpo’s greatness overshadows his game…

“No, we just work off of each other. You know, he does what he does every night and my job is to come up and back him up. I think that no matter good or bad, he does cover up a lot of our mistakes, he tries to make the game as simple as possible for us. When he’s out of the game or when he’s in the game, I try to do the same and make it easier for other guys.”

RE: On the run in the third quarter…

“We were just trying to play a little bit faster, a little bit more random. I think that I played a couple of pick-and-roll sets, just to try to get space and to get a little bit of movement going. Then we were getting defensive stops too and that helped, and then being able to push the pace a little bit more and play a little more random.”
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